Game Day on the Mountain

Hopefully our game days are back on track. We had quite a good time this past weekend. Normally we play our new games first – getting over the learning curve while our minds are still fresh.

Our first game was Deadwood Game - Deadwoodfrom Fantasy Flight. It was pretty easy to pick up. Light strategy. It is for 2 – 5 players. The company says from 13 yrs old and up. I see no reason why a game-savvy 8 year old would have problems with it. Certainly a 9 or 10 year old would find it easy to learn. The game is attractive with nice quality playing pieces. I would recommend it for a family game, or a game when friends get together and want something light, but with more chew than a ‘party game’.

Next up was Professor Pugnacious; Professor Pugnaciousbought because the steampunk element appealed to me. We didn’t play the game because the rule book was totally confusing, talking as if we all knew how the game was played, and had only one drawing that didn’t even show the layout. This is a bit confusing because one review on boardgamegeek had the following: “I actually really liked this Rule Book. You get a short overview of how the game is played. Then, a more detailed section in the same format. This is brilliant. The book uses good examples and includes full color photos. The book has an old time feel to it. Overall, I really did like this rule book and thought it was fantastic. Playing the game, I had a few questions but I was able to use common sense and work most of it out.” Maybe the rule book got left out of our box. I will check into that, but we couldn’t play the game with what we had.

We played The Downfall of Pompeii; it was a re-visit as we have played it before and really enjoyed it. Kill Dr Lucky cardsKill Dr. Lucky, the card game version, was a new game but since we have played the board game version it wasn’t difficult to pick up. The graphics and the card quality were very good. Zen Garden had some confusing directions as well because there are two games you can play, Zen Garden and Rock Garden, but the rule booklet didn’t make clear which rules were for which game. We enjoyed it and hoped we were playing it correctly.

The winner of the evening was Carcassonne South Seas. In fact, I would judge this as the best of all the Carcassonne games. Game - Carcassone South SeasMore elements, more strategy – my favorite.

Playing ‘Snake Oil’

I’ve finally rested up from a weekend at the AGPC (Association of Game & Puzzle Collectors) 2014 convention.  This was the 30th AGPC gathering and it was in Rochester, NY.  Besides wonderful talks, presentations and seeing friends we played games and the big hit – no surprise – was SNAKE OIL.

More fun that Apples to Apples!

More fun than Apples to Apples!

Several years back I took Apples to Apples to the convention and everyone loved it, so it was not difficult to teach this one.  Snake Oil is from Out of the Box, the people that originally brought out Apples and the play is much the same.

Here we have two sets of cards.  One represents the customer, and you might be a billionaire, a fashion model, a mortician or a tree-hugger for just a few examples.

The other set contains words such as bacteria, alarm, armor, belly, or lace, for a few examples.

One person each turn will be the “customer” and draw a customer card. It might turn out to be the mortician card.  The other players each have six cards in their hand and from these six they must use two to create a ‘product’ that the customer might buy.  In this case, for example, I might choose to try and sell him a “Bacteria Alarm” and I will have about 30 seconds to give him a sales pitch to try and convince him that my product is the one he wants.  That’s a very easy one to come up with, sometimes though – just like in Apples to Apples – none of your cards seem to fit and that’s when you have to get creative.

Sometimes the products were a little strange to put it mildly and the sales pitches had everyone in stitches.  After everyone has made their pitch, the customer chooses which product he likes best and the salesman gets the customer card.  At the end of the game the person with the most customer cards is the winner.

Rules say that you should go once around so that everyone has a chance to be the customer.  The first night we only played with three people and choose instead to have the first person with ten cards be the winner.  The next time we played I think there were 10 people and once around the table worked well.

This Mensa Select game is for ages 10+.  Length of play will depend on the number of players and how long you want to play.

Just to let you know – on the night with 10 players I managed to win one card.  I won when Santa was the customer and I sold him a ‘fart suit’.  This was designed to help Santa because as he traveled all over the world he had to keep eating all those cookies and glasses of milk.  The suit was designed to contain the results of that.  I rest my case.

Snake Oil is a great game for a group – everyone we played with said that they liked it more than Apples to Apples.  People who felt that they couldn’t possible come up with any product or manage to create a sales pitch had great sales pitches for the some really crazy products and had us all holding onto our sides as we laughed.





Worth Adding to Your Game Closet

This past spring the AGPC (Association of Game & Puzzle Collectors) annual convention was held in Saratoga Springs, NY.  During the event, one of the new members brought in a game to play named ANOMIA.  This is a Canadian game, and a holder of the Mensa Select seal.

In this game, everyone is playing all the time.  You must really be   alertBox & four cards and think fast.  It’s fun, everyone winds up shouting and laughing in equal parts.


Number of players: 3 to 6 (four is a good number)

Ages: 10 and up (One rare time I think the age recommendation is right)

Length of game: about 30 minutes.


Method of play: Cards are turned up one at a time by each player. Players must watch carefully to spot a card turned up by an opposing player that contains a symbol that matches the symbol on the card in front of them.  When the symbols match you must be the first to call out an item that fits the category on the other players card.  If there is a wild card also in play the cards may match via the symbols on the wild card.  In the image shown the wild card has a green cross and a purple wave.  The player with the purple wave card (Planet) must call out an item from the green cross card (Orchestral Instrument) before the other player.  So the person with the purple card might call out “Flute” before the green cross holder could shout out “Earth”.


It sounds easy, but somehow your brain gets all bogged down. If you enjoy word games this is one you should try.  It makes a great “ice breaker” since the concept and rules are easy.

Published in: on November 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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